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Pres. Obama still wants to end the Constellation space program, which will cost NASA millions

As NASA prepares to wind down its manned shuttle mission, the U.S. space agency is telling contractors to prepare for a slowdown in manned moon research.  In addition to the anticipated job loss, ending the Constellation program will cost NASA millions in cancellation fees on top of the billions already invested in the project.

Over the past five years, NASA has racked up $10 billion in space research and development to try and take astronauts back to the moon.  The most recent budget includes a clause put in by Congress to ensure that President Obama is unable to end the Constellation program without approval.

If Constellation ends, NASA believes as many as two-thirds of the current 7,800 contractors involved in the project could end up unemployed.  It'll cost almost $1 billion to pay cancellation costs to Lockheed Martin, Alliant Techsystems, and other contractors currently working for NASA.

Neither company is expected to receive additional funds, but it's an issue that NASA needs to figure out.

"In a brief check with people more knowledgeable than me, NASA has never held contractors' liable for termination liability," said Dr. Scott Pace, former NASA associate administrator and Space Policy Institute Director.  “If this is to be the new agency policy and practice, then NASA should shift responsibility for termination liability on all of its current contracts, not simply Constellation.  “As it stands, this appears to be purposefully punitive against a specific set of NASA contractors.” 

Obama is expected to discuss the topic further with Congress and current space experts, but it's unknown what must be done for both sides to reach a working agreement.

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RE: Privitization.
By pequin06 on 6/14/2010 5:04:26 PM , Rating: 5
Pretty naive.
The Presidents track record is anything but privatization.
He's just going to spend the money somehwere else.

RE: Privitization.
By freezervv on 6/14/2010 6:24:28 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, God knows he likes taking over companies.

Like BP.

... Oh wait, aren't people bitching over that one because he isn't interfering enough there?

What's the party line?! I'm so confused!!

RE: Privitization.
By knutjb on 6/14/2010 7:57:39 PM , Rating: 5
You forgot banks through the FDIC and GM & Chrysler... He does have a track record in preventing economic cycles. We will pay dearly for it too.

Some animals are more equal than others... Orwell.

RE: Privitization.
By Hydrofirex on 6/14/2010 10:28:58 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, 1-year gives you a HUGE track record from which to draw from...


RE: Privitization.
By kyleb2112 on 6/15/2010 4:19:59 AM , Rating: 2
Well, that's a quarter of his entire presidency.

RE: Privitization.
By NA1NSXR on 6/15/2010 5:06:40 AM , Rating: 2
Its not like he magically appeared out of thin air last year. The President is a person like anyone else with a working track record, references, associations, and a ton of the same professional history/reputation every normal person has.

“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs

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